Around 44 million people worldwide are afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease – only one in four of those have been diagnosed. That’s why awareness and days like World Alzheimer’s Day are so important.
On this day, September 21st each year, we spare a thought for those living with this condition, and all of the families, friends and caregivers who are there day-in-day-out supporting their loved one through.
World Alzheimer’s Day was created by the Fisher Centre for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, based in the United States, and adopted by Alzheimer’s organisations worldwide, including Alzheimer’s New Zealand which celebrates Alzheimer’s Month during September.
Part of raising awareness is the need to provide a voice for people living with Alzheimer’s and help others to understand what it’s like to be affected by the disease. Another dimension to this is the research perspective, encouraging funding support for medical professionals to explore the causes of Alzheimer’s and develop a cure for it.
Currently, there is no cure or preventative treatment. There is not even a drug which can delay the onset significantly, astonishing given how much progress researchers have made with cancer, HIV and other diseases for which there was little hope earlier in history.
There is a way you can help further this research without necessarily opening your wallet. Research is underway in Australia and New Zealand to investigate the very earliest signs of Alzheimer’s Disease. If you, or someone you know is encountering small, annoying memory lapses from time to time, you could refer them to our Memory Quiz. It’s a few short questions which will determine whether you or they qualify to take part in a new clinical research trial into early memory loss – a further step forward in Alzheimer’s research.
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